Always at the forefront of environmental progress, Oregon is leading the way in making renewable natural gas not just a utilities issue, but one that reaches the highest levels of government in the state.
Less than two years since bill SB 98 was signed into law by Governor Kate Brown, exciting advancements are already underway, setting the stage for the newest renewable resource to play an expanding role in providing energy to the fast-growing Pacific Northwest.
The History of SB 98
Effective on September 29, 2019, Oregon become the first state in the country to pass landmark legislation that set official guidelines and goals for the introduction of RNG into the state’s natural gas supply. Blue Flame Alliance member NW Natural worked closely with legislators to lay out short and long-term targets that allow a progressive percentage of RNG to be purchased from third-party suppliers up to the end goal of 30%.
The bill outlines protections for utilities and ratepayers against market drops by capping the total amount to be paid for RNG. Rates will be governed by regulators at the Oregon Public Utility Commission.
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Additional provisions in the bill provide:
- Capacity for large utilities to make qualified investments in the interconnection of RNG production and distribution
- Pathway for local communities to potentially generate revenue by converting waste into energy
Proud to be part of this groundbreaking environmental legislation, David H. Anderson, President and CEO of NW Natural, said, “We couldn’t be more pleased to lead the way. This is an important step in supporting our region’s move to more renewable energy, closing the loop on waste, and investing in homegrown solutions that address climate change.”
Garbage for Garbage
In an effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 21,000 tons each year in Portland, NW Natural is working with the city’s wastewater treatment plant to build a fueling station and pipeline infrastructure with a unique goal in mind.
The plan is to replace the 1.34M gallons of diesel burned by the city’s 154 garbage trucks with RNG. The switch from diesel is projected to reduce air pollution by 90% and add $3M in cash flow each year into the city budget.
Additional projects currently underway include an out-of-state partnership with BioCarbN to convert biogas from organic waste at Tyson Foods facilities into RNG that will be piped to NW Natural’s Oregon customers. Multiple wastewater treatment plant renewable natural gas facilities are already in progress.
Find our more about NW Natural’s renewable energy programs.